Marijana Pende's practice, devoted exclusively to sculpture, has been progressing in two mutually different and seemingly contradictory principal directions. As a matter of fact, the artist moves between one approach that is aesthetic and sensory in nature, focused on developing an immediate and sensory relationship with the viewer (A) and the second more demanding manner that emerged from her interest in forms by which production systems condition the present, people’s lives and the environment (B). In the first case (A) the attention is aimed squarely at the viewer, i.e. the end users, who are sharing their personal physical space with the artwork in a relationship of visual proximity: thanks to the artwork the artist is trying to examine perceptive and emotional potentials of sculpture. In the second case (B), however, the artist’s focus is aimed at society, the subject that is physically removed from the viewer as he is experiencing the work directly: the artist steers the attention towards collective aspects, the social, economic and political dynamics that the work is immersed in, that is, the cultural context it stemmed from.
As proven by her recent works, Looking forward to seeing you, (A) and (B) coexist in Pende’s research. (A) limits the field of research to the experience created by the artwork, namely, the personal relationship in which the work acts by drawing the eye and perception of the user centripetally and, in some sense, narrows emotional aspects of the work. On the other hand, (B) expands attention outward, towards context, directing it to the work’s potentials that escape the centre, somehow spreading into the political dimension. Both aspects, in their complementarity, are equally important for the artist and they simultaneously enable the gaze in two different directions, like Janus, the god with two faces, like some kind of extremely productive divergent strabismus.
(from the essay by Daniele Capra)
Marijana Pende graduated in sculpture and installation with Roberto Pozzobon and contemporary music with Nicola Cisternino at the Fine Art Academy in Venice in 2008. She was invited to a residency at the German Kulturamt Frankfurt in Frankfurt am Main. Pende exhibited her works at Gallery Prsten, Croatian Association of Artists in Zagreb and at the Museum of Modern Art of Dubrovnik. She took part at the show Atelier Aperti at 51th Biennale di Venezia with the best students of Fine Art Academies of Italy, and in several shows such as Classroom #01 at Museo Madre, Naples; Refuses at Arsenale in Venice; Emotion to cohabit, Galleria d’Arte Moderna Palazzo Forti in Verona and Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb; Triennial of Croatian Sculpture, Glyptotheque, Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Zagreb (in 2012, 2015, 2018). Marijana Pende held solo shows at Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rijeka, Glyptotheque Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Zagreb, Museum of Contemporary Art of Istria in Pula, Museum Palazzo Costanzi in Trieste. Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik / Arsenale Nord, during the 58th Biennale di Venezia, 2019.
She lives and works in Dubrovnik.
On view till 5th January, 2020.